Bone broth has seen a huge increase in popularity in recent years - and with good reason. With its unique nutritional content and delicious flavor, drinking bone broth every day can help provide incredible health benefits.
But as with all health supplements, finding a balance of how much to drink to support our health is important as optimizing bone broth intake can help get the best out of it. While drinking too much bone broth every day isn’t particularly harmful, it’s useful to know what to expect from larger amounts.
In this article, we look at the benefits of bone broth and dive in on how much to drink and discuss the risks of drinking too much.
How Much Bone Broth Should You Drink Daily?
The amount of bone broth to drink daily will vary on a person’s unique health needs and desires, as well as a host of other factors. For general support to health, drinking at least two cups of bone broth a day will help reap its nutritional rewards.
For more specific health goals and needs, however, drinking more cups of bone broth daily might be the way to go. Below, we’ve listed more some more specific intakes of bone broth.
If drinking bone broth is to help with gut function or leaky gut, aiming for two cups daily can provide the health benefits needed. If using a powdered bone broth supplement, one serving per day will do the trick.
Joint Protection and Cartilage Repair
Drinking between two to four cups of bone broth daily can help protect joints, lessen joint pain, and help cartilage repair adequately. If joint pain is particularly acute, try an even higher intake than this to start with, and then reduce as time goes on. If using a powdered supplement, try 1-2 servings a day.
To support general weight loss and to boost protein intake, drinking two cups of bone broth a day can help to top this up and keep cravings at bay.
Consuming bone broth as part of the bone broth diet takes a slightly different strategy. On fasting days, aim to drink six cups of bone broth per day. In supplement form, this is three servings a day.
What is In Bone Broth Anyway?
Bone broth is a liquid that’s made by simmering animal bones and connective tissues in water for hours or days. The nutritional content of the bones and ligaments infuses with the liquid, making a powerful broth that’s packed with vitamins, protein, and unique nutrients.
Typically, bone broth is drunk as a supplement to meals - but can also be a meal replacement in certain diets. It also exists in capsule and powder form for more convenient ingestion. Additional ingredients can be added to homemade bone broth, such as herbs, spices, and vegetables, to make it especially tasty.
Why Should You Drink Bone Broth?
Bone broth contains high levels of magnesium, calcium, zinc, and phosphorus, all essential to the functioning of our bodies. It also has great iron content and provides us with a source of vitamin A and K - and, if making bone broth with additional vegetables, these can also add extra health positives, meaning that it’s a great source of nutrition.
Some people even swap their daily coffee out for bone broth, as an alternative morning drink that gives a different kind of energy boost.
Also - and perhaps most excitingly - the simmering of the bones and ligaments means that bone broth contains collagen, which provides the body with essential amino acids. These acids have huge benefits as they're the building blocks of protein, and can provide us with anti-inflammatory effects and a range of other positives.
Collagen is also a valuable ingredient in the support of skin, nail, and hair health, and is a popular component of many beauty treatments - meaning that with bone broth, it’s rejuvenating from the inside out!
While bone broth is a great addition to diets for the general support of good health, it also has health benefits that may help people with more specific needs. These may include:
Helps With Gut Health
The potent anti-inflammatory effects that bone broth has in its glutamic acid, cysteine, glycine, and proline content means that it’s a great drink to aid with gut health. Providing the gut with a good source of anti-inflammatories helps with proper digestion and general gut function, as well as preventing and treating ulcers.
In particular, those suffering from leaky gut may find that drinking bone broth daily helps to alleviate symptoms and improve gut function due to its collagen content. Collagen can fortify the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, leading to better gut health. If gut problems are a concern, bone broth could be a great help.
Can Help With Joint Pain
The gelatin in bone broth is very beneficial for joint health. Gelatin intake has been found to increase collagen in body tissue, which can lead to less joint pain and trouble, which occurs over time through aging or adding extra stress to joints through sporting activity.
In addition to the collagen ingested through drinking bone broth, other ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin in the broth can help to alleviate joint pain and support joint health.
Can Support Weight Loss Goals
Bone broth can also be used to support weight loss. Its high protein content means that it contributes to feeling satiated for longer periods, and can help stop people from consuming excess calories. Its levels of protein also mean it’s a great choice for those looking to build more muscle.
For those looking to use bone broth for more targeted weight loss, the bone broth diet is a plan that cycles five days of a paleo diet with two days of fasting while only consuming bone broth. Its delicious flavor and nutritional profile mean it could be a better choice than other diet drinks out there.
Helps With Cartilage Repair
As bone broth comes from bones, it’s expected that it’d be great for our bone and cartilage health - and it is! In addition to the other benefits that bone broth’s collagen levels have, it’s also been shown to increase the level of collagen in cartilage tissue, leading to quicker and stronger repair.
In particular, collagen intake may be beneficial to those suffering from osteoarthritis. The bone broth’s calcium content will also help with cartilage and bone health.
Is Bone Broth Just Hype?
While bone broth seems to be the latest new superfood offering extraordinary health benefits, it’s been around for centuries, used by cooks across the world in meals. The process of making bone broth is very similar to making cooking stock, meaning that it may feel familiar and have people wondering why people are suddenly making a big deal out of it.
It is undeniable that bone broth is a nutritious drink and its collagen content is a unique positive, being much higher than what is present in stock. Its recent popularity is more about being the new discovery as opposed to some new miracle ingredient.
Is Too Much Bone Broth Bad For You?
While bone broth is full of healthy features, it still begs the question: is it possible to drink too much, and what happens if I do?
One thing to think about is the sodium intake of bone broth. If the bone broth is salty, drinking more than a few cups a day can boost sodium levels above the recommended daily allowance - so make sure that any bone broth being consumed is not full of salt. Another consideration is the unintended extra ingredients that can come from the bones themselves. Animal bones contain small traces of toxic metals such as lead, which are poisonous when consumed in high quantities. In this respect, drinking too much bone broth could cause unwanted side effects. However, you will need to drink a lot be poised by the lead from the broth.
Additionally, bear in mind that long-cooked bone broth contains naturally occurring glutamates, which in high quantities may cause headaches, seizures, and ironically leaky gut - the very thing bone broth is used to combat against! To counteract this, when making homemade bone broth follow a recipe with a shorter cooking time.
Bone broth is a supplement that could provide great health benefits, for those suffering from gut and joint issues in particular - and its unique collagen content means that it contributes to the body’s maintenance in a way that other supplements don’t.
Too much bone broth, however, can be troublesome - so make sure to avoid overdoing it and stick to recommended amounts to reap its full rewards!